18-WHEELER ACCIDENTS AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Almost every week there’s a news story on an 18-wheeler accident in the Tyler, Longview and Shreveport area. If you’ve been hit by a semi truck, the horror of that type of event just became all too personal.
EAST TEXAS BIG RIG CRASH STATISTICS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a commercial motor vehicle as one of two things:
- Any vehicle used in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property with a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more.
- It could also be a tractor-trailer vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more.
Either way, they’re bigger and heavier than regular vehicles. The Texas Department of Transportation provides annual summary reports on commercial motor vehicle crashes. The most recent data available is from 2017. That year, Texas had 35,635 commercial motor vehicle accidents.
340 of those accidents were in Smith County. That’s almost one for every day of the year. Gregg County wasn’t far behind with 226 commercial motor vehicle accidents. In Gregg County, five of those were fatal crashes and 12 had suspected serious injuries. In Smith County there were two fatalities and 16 suspected serious injuries. The Shreveport area has similar statistics.
18 WHEELER ACCIDENTS VS. CAR WRECKS
A big rig crash is different from a car wreck in several ways. Most of the time, regular vehicle accidents involve one driver or the other making mistakes, not paying attention or breaking traffic laws. Semi-truck accidents can be caused by driver fatigue, poorly maintained equipment and other issues. Here are a few other ways 18-wheeler accidents are different:
- The vehicle size and weight is drastically larger. Most passenger vehicles weigh under 5,000 pounds. 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s 16 times as much! A passenger vehicle could be only 15 feet long, while an 18-wheeler can be 80 feet long.
- The type and severity of injury also vary. With car wrecks, the driver and passengers are more likely to receive injuries like a strained neck and back or bruising from the impact. With 18-wheeler accidents, vehicle drivers are more likely to experience long-term injuries or fatalities.
- Liability is different in semi-truck crashes. Often in big rig wrecks, we find the fault lies with the trucking company. We’ll also examine factors like driver qualifications and drug and alcohol testing results.
- Compensation after an 18-wheeler accident also varies. Most vehicle drivers can only pay so much because of insurance limits. Trucking companies carry mandated coverage with higher limits, so you may be more likely to receive fair compensation.
A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY WHO SPECIALIZES IN 18-WHEELER ACCIDENTS
If you’ve been hit by a semi-truck, you need to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Trucking companies invest heavily in protecting their bottom line. The driver who hit you may have a whole team of professionals in his or her corner. Look out for your own best interests by hiring a team with experience representing clients involved in 18-wheeler accidents.
It won’t cost a dime to sit down and talk about your case. It could result in a personal injury settlement for you. Check out our case results to read what others received for injuries from 18-wheeler wrecks and auto accidents with a commercial vehicle. Then set up your free appointment online or call us at (903)999-9999 today.